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Author Topic: Someone's selling UQM on eBay...  (Read 4533 times)
Death 22
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Someone's selling UQM on eBay...
« on: August 11, 2010, 10:39:36 am »

A scumbag called new_earth_software is selling UQM on eBay, for example here and here.
Looking at this guy's feedback, he seems to be selling nothing but freeware! For sub-$10 prices. I guess there's one born every minute...
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Novus
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Re: Someone's selling UQM on eBay...
« Reply #1 on: August 11, 2010, 11:57:52 am »

To be fair, getting a truckload of good freeware on a disc may even be worth the money to some people, especially if they are having trouble finding good stuff or their Internet access is somewhat limited. In the case of UQM, the GPL allows distribution of the code in this manner. The non-commercial clause in the content licence, CC BY-NC-SA, is:
Quote
You may not exercise any of the rights granted to You in Section 3 above in any manner that is primarily intended for or directed toward commercial advantage or private monetary compensation.
Here, Section 3 is what permits you to distribute the work and derivatives thereof. A good lawyer might be able to make a convincing argument that the price, being as low as it is, is merely to cover the costs of collecting the software and disc duplication, although I'd say it's pretty clear that "private monetary compensation" is clearly involved.
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Alvarin
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Re: Someone's selling UQM on eBay...
« Reply #2 on: August 11, 2010, 03:02:57 pm »

Consider that some regions don't have unlimited internet service- they pay per Mb of download/upload. For these people such service would really be worthwhile.
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Death 999
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Re: Someone's selling UQM on eBay...
« Reply #3 on: August 11, 2010, 04:21:29 pm »

I'd still say it's unethical to sell this without noting a place it can be acquired for free. Not illegal.
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Re: Someone's selling UQM on eBay...
« Reply #4 on: August 11, 2010, 04:44:51 pm »

Reminds me of a time a while ago when I saw someone on EBay actually sell an empty windows folder for, IIRC, $20.
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Re: Someone's selling UQM on eBay...
« Reply #5 on: August 11, 2010, 06:45:01 pm »

Wow... Were there bids on that?
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Death 22
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Re: Someone's selling UQM on eBay...
« Reply #6 on: August 11, 2010, 09:54:36 pm »

I'm surprised nobody's up in arms about this... Tongue Anyway, I have sent the guy a message, wonder what he will say.
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Re: Someone's selling UQM on eBay...
« Reply #7 on: August 11, 2010, 10:13:24 pm »

I find it despicable that someone is selling something which should otherwise be free, though personally I am not surprised something like this happened. As long as there are people to fall for these schemes, there will be people taking advantage of them.
...I'd imagine he would get along well with the Melnorme, at least.
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Re: Someone's selling UQM on eBay...
« Reply #8 on: August 12, 2010, 12:31:55 am »

I've seen stuff on Amazon as shady as this.  Someone has been copying Wikipedia pages and selling them as a book on Amazon.  Someone made a book about a bunch of devs that make games for Activision.  It was suspicious to me so I looked up the ratings for that publisher.  That had some bad ratings revealing this.  Wikipedia text is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike and does not necessarily

I've noticed those eBay auctions too.  This user is selling other free software such as GIMP, Tux Racer, Battle for Wesnoth and even Open Office.  According to the GPL, selling GPL license software is allowed, provided they state that it's covered under the GPL.

To be fair, getting a truckload of good freeware on a disc may even be worth the money to some people, especially if they are having trouble finding good stuff or their Internet access is somewhat limited. In the case of UQM, the GPL allows distribution of the code in this manner. The non-commercial clause in the content licence, CC BY-NC-SA, is:
Quote
You may not exercise any of the rights granted to You in Section 3 above in any manner that is primarily intended for or directed toward commercial advantage or private monetary compensation.
Here, Section 3 is what permits you to distribute the work and derivatives thereof. A good lawyer might be able to make a convincing argument that the price, being as low as it is, is merely to cover the costs of collecting the software and disc duplication, although I'd say it's pretty clear that "private monetary compensation" is clearly involved.

Agreed.  The seller is also getting star ratings with each item sold.  Here's what the COPYING.txt states regarding the UQM content, if anyone's interested:

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   The content -- voiceovers, dialogue, graphics, and music -- are
    copyright (C) 1992, 1993, 2002 Toys for Bob, Inc. or their
    respective creators.  The content may be used freely under the
    terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike
    2.5 license (included below, and also available at
    http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.5/).  The content
    may also be copied freely as part of a distribution of The Ur-Quan
    Masters.
« Last Edit: August 12, 2010, 12:53:40 am by Anthony » Logged

Admiral Zeratul
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Re: Someone's selling UQM on eBay...
« Reply #9 on: August 12, 2010, 01:04:44 am »

I've noticed those eBay auctions too.  This user is selling other free software such as GIMP, Tux Racer, Battle for Wesnoth and even Open Office.  According to the GPL, selling GPL license software is allowed, provided they state that it's covered under the GPL.
I am sure there are plenty of worse examples than this. I recognize the legitimacy of selling freeware disks as previously mentioned in this thread. It's still pretty slimy if you ask me... I don't care how many star ratings this "New Earth Software" guy has. The fact of the matter is that he is blatantly claiming Ur-Quan Masters and other free games as his own. He never even bothered to link to the UQM sourceforge page. Beyond providing limited internet users with a less expensive alternative, it is clear that he intentionally left out that link in order to make more sales. What he is doing is intellectually dishonest at the very least!
So, no, I don't think it should be allowed.  Roll Eyes
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Re: Someone's selling UQM on eBay...
« Reply #10 on: August 12, 2010, 02:09:49 am »

I feel the same way.  People shouldn't be making money off of this.  I have nothing against companies such as Ubuntu or Mozilla selling discs of their own products; the money spent in this case would go towards the development of their respective products.

It's just that there could be some legal technicalities that could complicate things such as the GPL.  These auctions could be flagged for removal.  However, from my personal experience, flagging is one of eBay's downfalls.  Of all the things I've flagged a very logn time ago, I don't recall any of them being taken down before the auction's end date.  TFB still owns the SC2 content and is simply allowing the UQM team to use and distribute it for a non-commercial purpose.  It sounds sufficient enough to show that the eBay auction is violating the content's CC license.
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Death 22
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Re: Someone's selling UQM on eBay...
« Reply #11 on: August 12, 2010, 02:13:23 am »

OK, I guess I didn't know what the dev team's attitude is towards sellers - some projects are quite keen to shut b*stards like this down.
Anyway, I've emailed the guy and suggested he add a link to the project's site - I'm not holding my breath for a response though Tongue
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Re: Someone's selling UQM on eBay...
« Reply #12 on: August 12, 2010, 03:03:45 am »

I sent him a nice mean email...  Cry
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Re: Someone's selling UQM on eBay...
« Reply #13 on: August 12, 2010, 05:28:24 am »

here is his response:
We mainly charge for distribution and CD preparation and packing, not for content. Also, the Ur-Quan "code is released under the GNU General Public License" - the graphics/sound content is added for free either on the disc or separate download.

In general what we're providing for people is a service of receiving the program on a real CD disc (instead of just an internet download file) that even comes with an easy to use front-end installer. A lot of people just prefer to have their programs on a real disc like this, something they can hold and keep on the shelf. They feel that's worth a few dollars. In the auction listing at the bottom I clearly state that all the software is available under open source Public Licenses.

Most people looking for software on eBay aren't advanced computer/internet users, and that's part of why they prefer a real CD with the easy installer menu. Also, they appreciate not having to search through all the very low quality junk out there to eventually find the "good ones" (some people are actually afraid to touch any file downloaded online!), so they're glad I have gathered a good collection for them as a service. Lastly, they probably would have never discovered most of the programs offered, so this marketing effort actually extends the opportunity to experience the quality programming developers around the world have done to many more people - it's larger exposure in the end, and leads to a larger install-base, which is good for everyone.


and, at the bottom of the ebay page it says:
eBay Policy Compliance

I am authorized to market and sell all of the software programs included in this listing under the terms of the GNU Public License, the GNU Lesser General Public License (LGPL) or the Mozilla Public Licence.

This original eBay auction has been written and formatted by myself, including making my own original screen captures, in full accordance with eBay policies and regulations.
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Admiral Zeratul
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Re: Someone's selling UQM on eBay...
« Reply #14 on: August 12, 2010, 06:20:11 am »

Just a bunch of bologna, I say. His defense is full of hot air, at best. He still never linked to the UQM sourceforge page. If he gave the proper credit and linked to the UQM sourceforge page, then I might take his claims seriously. He did not.
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